"Well I remember you" the Dr said to me as he walked in the room Joel & I were waiting in. "Yeah..."I laughed "Kidney stones......"I said with a smile to the Dr who had been my savior 2 1/2 years ago when I was sick with stones. He didn't smile back. He looked straight to my husband.
"Sir, you have Kidney cancer."
What? Time stood still. Like the cliche' that everyone says-it's like a bad dream. Joel had started passing blood clots in his urine a week before. That was the only indication that anything was wrong with him. They gave him an antibiotic because they thought it was was a bladder infection-kidney stones at the worst. When the drugs failed to work on Monday they suggested that we go in on Tuesday for a CT scan. We almost didn't because we were worried about the cost. It was only a small infection-no need for a CT scan. Thank God we did.
In that moment your world changes. We had a 5 year anniversary trip to Puerto Rico that was coming up in 5 weeks. We were supposed to be shopping for beach towels for our trip. We had began the process to go through IVF due to the fact that we hadn't been able to conceive for 4 years. That was suppose to start 2 weeks after we got home from our trip. We were excited about conceiving & starting a family as it had been our dream for so long.
Things are different now. Today we have a CT scan to see if the cancer has spread to his lungs. We are praying that it will only be isolated to the one area of his kidney. Surgery will be next week to remove it-probably on Monday. That will be followed by a week in the hospital. Best case scenario-& what we are praying for-is that they go in & get it all out with no further chemo to follow.
The reason for this blog is two-fold. One, a friend recommended to me that I should journal through this process. Write it all down so I can go back & have record of what we have gone through & God's faithfulness in our lives. The other reason is that we have been absolutely inundated with visits, phone calls, & emails from our friends & those we love. All of them have asked to be kept in the loop during this process. I want everyone to know where we are headed & what's to come-but after I discovered yesterday-it will be nearly impossible for us to notify everyone individually of every step in the journey. I will be using this blog to update you all every step of the way. Please know that if you are reading this-you mean the world to us! Your prayers & your support have literally kept us moving forward in the last 24 hours when our world has seemed to literally crumble before our eyes. The love & warmth we have felt from you all has been a life line to us.
I won't put up any false pretenses about understanding why any of this has happened. I wonder why us & why at this point in our lives. It doesn't seem fair, but life rarely is. The one thing we both have to cling to is that we serve an awesome God who loves us & who I know will be with us through every moment. We know that He is our refuge & He is our hope. We know that He is the same yesterday today & forever & that His healing power that healed the sick & raised the dead is available to us too. And we are claiming that power over my husbands life.
Every night before we go to sleep we pray together. Normally Joel leads but he passed the torch to me last night. I started my prayer the way I start every prayer:
"God we thank you for this day...." then I stopped-do I REALLY thank Him for this day? The day where we got the worst news of our lives? Or was I just saying something that I say out of habit but don't really mean??? We sat there in complete silence while I figured it out. Then after what seemed like an eternity I had my answer. Yes, I realized, I do thank Him. Because we now have a chance to see & display in our lives His greatness & His miracle working power.
I ended my prayer with tears rolling down my face & the words "God we thank You that this journey that started with heartbreak will end with healing."
And that's what we believe. Thank you for believing with us.
We love you,
Sarah & Joel
-Joel's CT scan to show NO spreading of the cancer